The early days of War led to an initial decline in beekeeping and membership. Mr Weiss was unable to attend the AGM in November 1939 because he was on police duty. He resigned as Treasurer as “owing to various war-time duties, Mr Weiss did not feel that he could give sufficient time to the affairs of the Association”.
At this meeting, members were urged “to increase their stocks if at all possible as it was of National importance that beekeeping should be kept going during these days of war.” The branch purchased 1½ tons of sugar for distribution to members to overwinter bees, and efforts were made to recruit new members.
The Government introduced a sugar ration of 10lbs per colony, and this seemed to coincide with a growth in membership. By 1941, the branch had 80 members. Meetings were held in the afternoon due to “blackout difficulties”, and members were encouraged to enter for examinations to improve standards. Branch members donated honey to the Red Cross and submarine crews.